Health Care Cost for Children Newly Diagnosed With Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Fondell AW1, Mosha MH1, Frank CR2, Brangi JM1, Hyams JS1. Inflamm Bowel Dis. 2019 Aug 24. pii: izz183. doi: 10.1093/ibd/izz183. [Epub ahead of print]


Author information

Connecticut Children's Medical Center, Hartford, CT, USA.

Healthcare Management Solutions, Inc, Dunedin, FL, USA.


BACKGROUND: The increasing incidence of pediatric inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), along with more extensive and severe disease in children, raises concern for related health care expenditures.

AIM: The aim of this study was to quantify and characterize costs of pediatric IBD in the year following diagnosis.

METHODS: We identified all patients diagnosed with IBD at Connecticut Children's Medical Center in 2016 with a minimum of 1 year follow-up. Clinical and demographic factors were recorded at diagnosis. We examined paid service and professional costs related to outpatient medications and infusions, outpatient procedures and radiology imaging, inpatient services, and outpatient visits. Actual dollar reimbursements were from private and public payers. Data is reported as mean ± SD and median (IQR).

RESULTS: First-year cost data were collected on 67 patients (43 Crohn's disease [CD], 24 ulcerative colitis [UC], mean age 13 years [SD 3.22]) revealing a mean cost of $45,753 (SD $37,938), with $43,095 (SD $30,828) for CD and $50,516 (SD $48,557) for UC. Severe CD (n = 11) had a mean cost of $71,176 (SD $43,817) and severe UC (n = 5) $134,178 (SD $40,920). Patients receiving infusion therapy had a mean cost of $59,376 (SD $38,724) compared with $27,903 (SD $28,795) for those not receiving infusions. Overall cost distribution showed 37% from infusion costs, 25% hospital costs, 18% outpatient procedures, 10% outpatient oral medications, 7% outpatient imaging, and 3% outpatient visits.

CONCLUSIONS: Infusion therapy is a key driver of first-year costs for children newly diagnosed with IBD. Understanding cost distribution in relation to disease presentation can be helpful to anticipate future related costs.

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